Hi Swamp Blog Readers!

I hope you're having a superb start to your week. While you're here...Swamp needs your help! Please read the next to last paragraph to see how you can help out.

Have you ever had a time in your life when your faith became more real to you? Maybe, it was a time when you had to decide whether or not to give something up to put God first, and you chose God. Or, maybe it was during a time of hardship, when you knew all you had to rely on was God. No matter the circumstances, I'm sure you remember that time very well. It may be one of the pillars of your faith.

When Things Get Real

A few weeks ago, I wrote about going on a Swamp Corps trip to St. Vincent over the summer. While the trip itself was great, my greatest takeaway from it was that my faith became more real to me during that experience. Going into the trip, I was one of three Americans. I was also the only American girl. I had little to no idea what the trip would be like. All I knew was that I was going to St. Vincent to be a counselor at a camp like ours.

All of that sounded like a great adventure, until I got to the camp and realized I only knew two other people and didn't have any American camp directors with me. As someone who takes a while to warm up to people and feel comfortable to be myself, I felt trapped and very unsure of myself, my role, and my place. I didn't want to overstep cultural boundaries or cross counselors who'd counseled many years before. And, because of that, sometimes I didn't know whether I should take the lead or follow.

All in all, it was very overwhelming, and I remembered one of the first mornings at camp just feeling called to get up early and have really good time with God. I prayed to God about how I was feeling lost and unsure of why I was there. During that prayer I realized that despite the lack of familiar people with me, God was there in that moment and understood how I was feeling completely. And, at that moment, I had to decide to really believe that. Accepting that was like a stone turning over in my faith. It was always something I told myself, that God was with me everywhere. But, during that moment, thousands of miles from home, it became real.

Everyday Powerful Faith

I'm sure you have had one of those powerful, inspiring moments. The question is, how do we capture those moments and make our faith real like that everyday? Here are three ways to make our faith more real:

1) Remember God's faithfulness.

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."

-Deuteronomy 4:9

It's easy to forget the special moments in which we experience God's realness, when we start going through trials. This scripture really helps me when I'm struggling. I find that just remembering those mountain top experiences makes my faith feel more real again.

2) Tell your story.

Every single one of us has an amazing story of God becoming real to us. And, when we share these moments, not only do we help build others' faith; we build our own. Telling our story can help make God more real to us.

3) Live like Jesus.

"This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus."

-1 John 4:17

Another way we can make our faith more real is by being an image seeker (AKA living like Jesus.) When we live like Him, we show the world and ourselves who we believe Jesus is. And, this is the ultimate way to grow our faith.

I hope you guys got something out of this blog post on making faith real, even if it was just some inspiration for your daily walk with God.

The purpose of these blog posts is to be informative about what is happening with Camp Swamp, as well as, to provide content that brings readers back to the heart of camp. And, with that we want to provide content for YOU, our audience. Please take a couple minutes and answer this form about what content you would like to see on The Swamp Camp Blog.

Also, the Teen Retreat will be THIS weekend at the Swamp. You can still sign up HERE! It's going to be an awesome time to hang out with friends and get refreshed.

Until next week Swamp Bloggers,

Much Love & Respect,

Julie